Technology in African countries has grown tremendously, with new innovative applications being introduced into the market every year. Most of these apps are useful in day-to-day life, and many are designed to stimulate socioeconomic growth in developing nations. Additionally, several have won international technology awards, thereby putting the African technological scene on the map. Here are a few essential African apps to check out.

Suba : Ghana
Intruptive Technologies set up the Suba app which is a platform where friends and family can upload and share photos. It is designed as a digital photo album and also includes the option to add doodles into photos. It can be used via iPhone, Android, or even on the web.

suba ghana

MedAfrica : Kenya
This is a platform created by Shimba Technologies which aims at increasing the availability of health care information. It provides several services such as helping citizens locate hospitals and licensed doctors, as well as identifying symptoms. This is especially necessary for those located in rural areas, where healthcare may not be easily accessible.

mPedigree: Ghana
The problem of counterfeit drugs have long affected people in African countries. As a result, mPedigree was developed. This application aims to identify counterfeit drugs. Patients buy drugs and scratch off a panel to reveal a code. They can send the code through mPedigree and will receive information as to the authenticity of the drug.

M-Pesa : Kenya
This is a microfinance and money transfer service that was introduced in 2007 by Vodafone for Safaricom and Vodacom. It has grown expansively and has even been introduced in other regions such as Afghanistan, Eastern Europe, and India. It can be used to buy mobile airtime, pay for goods and services, and even send and receive money.

Image Source: Rosenfield Media  MF385: Figure 9.12

Image Source: Rosenfield Media
MF385: Figure 9.12

Afrinolly : Nigeria
Afrinolly is an application that allows users to watch African and Bollywood movies on the go. It also provides news on movie and music releases, as well as celebrity gossip on African stars. You may also share your opinion and rate the movies you have watched via Facebook. It won the entertainment/games/media category at Google’s first  Android Developers Challenge for Sub-Saharan Africa.

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ShareYoruba : Nigeria
With the aim of promoting African culture and language, ShareYoruba was developed. This is an app that allows users to add proverbs from the Yoruba culture, a language spoken by people from Nigeria, Benin, and Togo. Users can share these via Twitter and Facebook.

moWoza: South Africa
This is a mobile shopping app, which uses Short-Message-Service (SMS), and allows cross-border traders to access price-related information, credit, placing orders, and receiving delivery notifications. Its focus is mainly on improving the livelihoods of female traders in Sub-Saharan Africa, by easing the trade process. It has won several awards, including the Drivers of Change Government Award in 2014.

Saya : Ghana
Saya is an application that has been described as the African Whatsapp. It aims to cut down the price of group messaging and SMS through Java technology. It is mainly targeted at youth, and its use has spread to Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria, among others. It was probably due to this growth that Saya was acquired in 2014 by Kirusa, a US-based developer.

Olalashe : Kenya
This is an application that aims to ensure your safety. If in trouble, users can send an emergency message to selected contacts, alerting them to your location at the time of your distress signal. This won the social/communication category during Google’s first Android Developers Challenge for Sub-Saharan Africa.

MafutaGo : Uganda
Mafuta Go is a mobile application that allows users to find the nearest and cheapest fuel station. Additionally, it also lists any extra services that the fuel station may offer, as well as those that sell kerosene and cooking gas. It was created by a group of university students and even won the MPA 2012 Ringmaster Award.

mafutago uganda app

Okada Ride : Nigeria
Hailed as the African version of Farmville, Okada Ride is a game that allows users to drive a motorbike or “Okada.” The object of the game is to reach work as quickly as possible, while avoiding obstacles such as policemen. It won the MTNApp 2013 Challenge.

Moraba : South Africa
Moraba is a version of chess with a twist—it is based on enhancing positive gender relations. Answer a question about gender violence correctly, and move ahead in the game. It is meant to be an educational game that will teach users the impact gender violence has, and how to react to it.